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Early Childhood Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

The inclusion of early childhood development (ECD) in major international development initiatives can be traced back to the 1990 ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the creation of the Education for All movement, which established that learning begins at birth. In the mid- to late-1990s, the World Bank, in response to these initiatives, began to make funds available to certain African countries for the establishment of ECD programs and policies.  Over the next several years, major ECD conferences began to take place throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing the importance of ECD for overall human development to the attention of African policymakers.

In a recent ACEI Radio interview, University of Victoria Professor and UNESCO Chair for Early Childhood Education, Care, and Development Alan Pence discussed the ECD movement and its progress in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Pence is a recipient of the International Education Leadership Award from the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the University of Victoria's Craigdarroch Research Award for 'societal benefit', and a finalist for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award.

Listen to Dr. Pence's interview with ACEI Executive Director Diane Whitehead here.

Africa ECD Voice, published by the Working Group on ECD for Africa and edited by Dr. Pence, recently released a new issue which provides an overview of literature on ECD in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read the latest issue here.